JP Morgan 2015: Strategic Tea Leaves from the Non-Profit Track

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH

Most who follow the JP Morgan Healthcare extravaganza search for clues to short, long term or even nano second high frequency trading equity plays – witness the flurry of pre-event ‘news’ releases, ‘how to follow’ the event tomes, preferred ‘investment themes’, and ‘what to expect’ guides, etc. Yet from my perspective the ‘below the radar’ value from this gathering is the strategic insight to be gleaned from the trophy and lesser known 501(c)3 or their derivative for profit JVs or affiliates sharing their vision, approach and results to a market with tectonic shifts in its midst.JP Morgan Non Profit Track Companies

Trophy nameplates the likes of Kaiser Permanente, Cleveland Clinic, Ascension Health, Sutter Health, Advocate Health, and Intermountain Healthcare seed an impressive class of variably mature operators with varying relative success in the integrative delivery system and risk contracting and management theatre.

As ‘uptake gatekeepers’ if you will, for many of the innovations – whether HealthIT, biotech, biopharma or care delivery (population health, care management, etc.) related, these systems are excellent proxies for indicia if not the profile of granular value adds enabling a sustainable healthcare ecosystem.

The rapid proliferation of ‘innovation centers’ organized under ‘Chief Innovation Officers’ with line operational authority and a mission to disrupt legacy or ‘this is how we do it’ institutional inertia evidences the priority of the ‘triple aim’ in the healthcare C-suite.

Provider-led health plans: The next frontier—or the 1990s all over again?

As you watch and/or listen to some of these reports (including that which is NOT said), consider the following recent report issued by Mckinsey as it drills into the macro environment as well as the operating weeds of health systems pursuing an ‘integration strategy’ via acquiring or building a health plan group in its operating portfolio. The timely report is titled: ‘Provider-led health plans: The next frontier—or the 1990s all over again?’

Getting it ‘right’ this time may be the last ‘kiss at the apple’ to salvage the public/private partnership  as principal host of the U.S. health system. How these systems vision, structure and pursue the triple aim, i.e.,  better care, better outcomes at lower per capita cost will in larger measure determine the industry’s collective success.

As noted by one of the report authors:

‘This is clearly a segment we should be paying attention to…There has been a lot of discussion wondering if the market is just a repeat of the 1990s… I think time will tell, but there are three or four reasons why I think it could be different than the 1990s.’  Gunjan Khanna, PhD

For additional context if not insight from an ACO or accountable care perspective, see: ‘Universal American: No Where in Sight at JP Morgan Healthcare Conference 2015’.

JPMorgan Healthcare Conference 2015: 33 Years Later We’re Still Searching…

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH

JPM15_home_registrationIt looks like this will be the third year in a row that I participate albeit via 2nd level engagement ‘touch points’ in the proceedings principally via side bar event or private party invite [or crashing], the rich twitter stream and a most generous schedule of webcasted company presentations. To follow the free JPM 2015 webcasts you can register here (simple email registration is required).

As someone trained in the behavioral sciences and public health or its more contemporary version framed as ‘population health’ where the focus is on the health and wellbeing of whole populations, I rarely follow niche biotech, pharma or medical device investment themes per se. Rather, I am singularly interested in monitoring the vision, strategy initiatives and outcomes reported by a rather heterogeneous cohort otherwise grouped by JP Morgan under a ‘non profit companies’ track – mostly tax exempt health [hospital] systems. While many of these entities may be virtually indistinguishable from the for-profit brethren, how they organize, partner, joint venture or chose to extend beyond their core businesses [or not] is always a fascinating story. Further, as ‘uptake gatekeepers’ if not the customer for many of the innovations presented by participating companies at JPM15, measuring their sentiment or ‘buy-in’ is one way to gage the likely relevance of the product, service, platform or ‘IP’.JPM15_non profit track

Following the passage of the Affordable Care Act it’s fair to say that we’re in the midst (albeit early) of a fundamental restructuring of an arguably $3 trillion ‘cottage industry.’ Seeded originally under the pillars of ‘cost plus’ for hospitals and ‘usual, customary and prevailing’ charges for physicians we created a supply driven perfect storm of a silo-ed healthcare [non] systems incentivized or perhaps addicted to more. Where do more meant, earn more. That is now changing and everyone agrees that ‘business as usual’ is no longer an option. The question is what is the footprint of these new, emerging or re-tooled business models and who are the value added partners that enable the expression of ‘new term sheet’ success at scale?

With that in mind, I reviewed the line-up for this year and note the following partial list of companies reporting in the non-profit track. Be mindful that for these links to work you must register before opening them. There is a contextual story (provider type, market characteristics, risk tolerance and prevailing culture) to each of their reporting. For example, I am most interested in the post merger vision of Baylor and Scott and White, where a group practice medical group centered IDN has affiliated with a more traditional albeit progressive hospital system. Who’s cultural DNA will prevail post merger?

Good luck and enjoy!

Also, the twitter hashtag is #JPM15. Follow the dashboard here and follow me on twitter via @2healthguru.


The ‘Non Profit Track’ Participating Companies

JPM15 Non Profit Track Webcasts


Advocate Health Care

Adventist Health System

Baylor Scott & White Health

Barnabas Health

Catholic Health Initiatives

Trinity Health

Partners HealthCare System

Mercy Health (formerly Catholic Health Partners)

Legacy Health

Kaiser Permanente

Geisinger Health System

Dignity Health

University of California Health


33rd Annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH

JPM15_home_registrationSince we’re poised for perhaps the trophy healthcare investor conference of 2015 – the 33rd Annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, I thought I’d repost one or more earlier observations and link back to previous articles of interest that may provide context for benchmarking progress in digital health, accountable care or the generalized pursuit of a sustainable healthcare ecosystem via innovation – which the parties in interest to this gathering are presumptively championing.

JPM15_lineupIn years’ past JP Morgan has generously streamed via webcast select events. This is a good thing since access to the event is generally closely held, i.e., media credentials are very difficult to get.

This year apparently that access is being somewhat further limited according to Adam Feuerstein of wherein he ‘outs’ a handful of players via ‘Public Shame for Biotechs Not Webcasting ‘JPM15’ Breakout Sessions.

Depending on the availability of the proceedings here are just a few of last year’s title pieces produced by the savvy healthcare analysts at JP Morgan that set the emerging zeitgeist for industry leadership:JPM15_home

And for relevant time-line context on ACOs or accountable care or the holy quest for health plan ‘morphogenesis’ (i.e., continuing ‘relevance’) see: ‘It’s All About the Network (thoughts courtesy of Aetna Chairman, President and CEO Mark Bertolini @mtbert) and the introduction to 2014 event ‘JP Morgan Healthcare Conference Unbundled: Something for Everyone?‘ as starters.

Meanwhile here’s last year’s observation posted to @ACOwatch on January 14th, 2014:

Perhaps the trophy event in the biotech, pharma and even innovation in the ‘non-profit sector’ from the likes of Dignity HealthCleveland Clinic and Advocate Healthcare, the ‘suits’ of the investor class (heck even Adam Feuerstein was alleged to have been sporting a tie – at least on Monday) descended upon Union Square. While a closed event,  one needs an invite from a JP Morgan Analyst – at least this is what I was told last year, happily they permit access to the webcasts to those unable to attend.

So if you are an interested party but unable to attend this august gathering the line-up is viewable the access page. A simple email registration is required [Updated for 2015].

Here are the resources available for those who can not make this annual august gathering:

The master agenda is here, you may need to register to progress beyond the gateway. I am already in. If the link doesn’t default to the registration gateway, click on the ‘welcome page‘.

This is an amazing conference with incredible insights that possess their own unique ‘strain’ of delivery given the principal audience includes analysts, other investors and the financial media that report on the industry writ large.

For those who prefer to follow on twitter the event hashtag is #jpm14 (#JPM15) and the digital dashboard can be accessed here. The sessions generated the web impressions pasted below which some refer to as ‘vanity metrics’. We disagree! 37 mil web impressions which translate into ‘potential views’ or account deliveries is powerful both in real time and from a downstream ‘tail’ data mining or keyword cloud or theme narrative extraction perspective. In other words, it all starts with visibility.

No visibility, no brand or conversational mindshare!

jpm 14 total impressions

For those following via the twitter hashtag #JPM15 here is last year’s digital footprint. Some 36,948,863 web impressions (each tweet is an indexed web page) is not bad for a venue that doesn’t pay much attention (or so it seems) to social media.

For what it’s worth, for the last two years, I’ve registered the #JPM14 and #JPM15 hashtags with the hashtag registar Symplur. This permits the creation of a digital dashboard of sorts, that enables both analytics reporting and transcript pulls.

The registrar is Symplur is known for having created ‘the healthcare hashtags projects’ a rich repository of healthcare conferences, and for many is the ‘go to’ resource for registering healthcare hashtags.




The ‘Old’ is ‘New’ Again?

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH

For context on this question and a deeper dive into the value-added contributions from evidence based best practices (i.e., we know what works), below is Douglas Goldstein’s (aka @eFuturist) chat with David Nash, MD MBA, the current and  founding Dean of the Jefferson School of Population Health:


The answer(s) to the question posed may shed timely health[care] innovation insight and contextual wisdom on what’s happening worldwide, but uniquely so in the United States. Keeping one’s ‘eyes on the prize’ [as expressed in the vision for the ACA’s legislative intent] while industry leadership engage with ‘whack-a-mole‘ ecosystem complexity, regulatory drift, dilution ( if not outright conflict) amidst an unrelenting crossfire between health reform ideologues or their proxies, is a challenging task. In an unsustainable perhaps burning platform albeit $3 trillion ‘cottage industry’, the politics of Affordable Care Act implementation continues to inject unprecedented acrimony in a narrative that requires public/private collaboration and trust.

Yet despite the orchestrated ‘signal to noise’ distractions there is progress under the health reform hood – if you will. The world is re-discovering the value proposition of ‘population health‘. Most will no doubt connect with the ‘triple aim’ as popularized by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and introduced into health reform lexicon by former Centers for Medicare and Medcaid (CMS) Administrator Dr. Don Berwick. In fact, the entire mission of the ACA and it’s regulatory aftermath can be reduced to the core tenets of the triple aim: “improving the health of the population, enhancing the experience and outcomes of the patient and reducing per capita cost of care for the benefit of communities.”

One representation of this growing directional consensus can be found in the formal meeting of minds between two committed and authoritative industry stakeholders. Recently the only professional association focused exclusively on population health – the Population Health Alliance (PHA), and the sole free standing and accredited degree granting academic institution committed to advancing leadership in the space, the Jefferson School of Population Health (JSPH) announced an affiliation agreement to ‘build [population health] capacity for education and advocacy’.

As quoted in the joint Jefferson School of Population Health (JSPH) and the Population Health Alliance (PHA) press release:

“The agreement makes it possible for the organizations to work together on shared priorities around population health advocacy and education, including: Developing, marketing and presenting professional programs, conferences and webinars on population health, policy, benefit design, governance and related health care topics. Preparing and submitting joint grant applications and other engagements. PHA has long been an advocate for incorporating academic rigor and research into the evolving population health industry. The collaboration with renowned Jefferson School of Population Health will make that possible in a more robust way for our growing alliance membership.” Fred Goldstein, Executive Director, PHA

“The Jefferson School of Population Health (JSPH) has supported the important work of PHA for many years. This type of collaboration, between academia and industry, is a key component to improving population health outcomes across the United States. The job is too big to take on alone, and we are pleased to have a capable and willing partner in PHA.” David Nash MD MBA, Dean, Jefferson School of Population Health

So maybe the more accurate headline for this entry is the rediscovery of prior wisdom since post ACA and fueled by an ‘accountable care’ mantra we’re returning to the original basis that gave rise to the HMO (Health Maintenance Organization). In an HMO the focus is on the health and wellbeing of its ‘members’ (aka population), supported by incentive structures designed to keep members healthy and out of the hospital – which in true integrated delivery systems are cost and NOT revenue centers. We’re still very early in this installment of the journey, so we shall see!

About the Jefferson School of Population Health

The Jefferson School of Population Health (JSPH), established in 2008, is one of six schools and colleges that constitute Thomas Jefferson University, a leading academic health center founded in Philadelphia in 1824 as Jefferson Medical College. As the first designated School of Population Health in the country, JSPH is dedicated to the exploration of policies and forces that determine the health and quality of life of populations, locally, nationally, and globally. Its mission is to prepare leaders with global vision to develop, implement, and evaluate health policies and systems that improve the health of populations and thereby enhance the quality of life.

About the Population Health Alliance

The Population Health Alliance (PHA) is a global trade association of the population health industry. The organization has nearly 100 members representing stakeholders from across the health care delivery system that seek to improve health outcomes, optimize medical and administrative spend, and drive affordability. Through its robust advocacy, research and education initiatives, the PHA offers members a forum to advance shared learning and applied research to further innovation and establish best practices in the population health field.

Learn more via Jefferson School of Population and Population Health Alliance (PHA).



Exponential Medicine: Meet Lucien Engelen

By Gregg A. Masters MPH

‘There is no box…’ Lucien Engelen

There are a couple of threads that motivate this post.

First so much of the health innovation or system re-engineering conversation (if not hype) that plays out in health wonk, policy or even the nascent though expanding digital health innovation stakeholder universe is rather ‘U. S. Centric.’ Yet, solving the cost, quality and access conundrum in holistic (systemic) and sustainable terms is not solely a U.S. concern. Covering and providing high quality health services to whole populations is a challenge for ALL countries and their enabling private interests based on their model of blending public and private participation.

In this Exponential Medicine 2014 deeper dive interview at one of the best ‘immersive’ health innovation experiences of all (Note: for 2014 I covered some 24 major healthcare conferences based on my badge collection), I missed the very important distinction made by Lucien Engelen, the Director of the REshape Innovation Center at Radboud Universty Medical Center. As interviewer I was trying to elicit his cross cultural take on the seemingly more ‘patient centered’ nature and thus approach in the Netherlands (vs. the U.S.). To my somewhat surprise Engelen notes:

‘I don’t know, luckily its spreading all over the world. I don’t think its cultural based. It’s ignited by the need. We’ve got to change the model…. which is not sustainable: huge healthcare demands, declining budgets, shortage of skilled personnel, we’ve got to do something….  if you could also use the biggest resources in healthcare [the patient’s themselves as @epatientDave always states] that could bring great value I think.’ 

The key takeaway was at least at REshape and perhaps as proxy for the wider Dutch culture, they’ve progressed beyond ‘patient centered’ innovation favoring care based innovation that partners with patients’. This might explain Engelen’s stated purpose for creating REshape, which is:

‘to harness the convergence of of technology at one end and patient empowerment on the other side…’

This is a fascinating man with a determined conviction to source answers and innovation globally as well as share the insights and ‘partnership values’ REshape is incorporating into their ‘incubation cell’ at Radboud University Medical Center.

Follow Lucien on twitter via @LucienEngelen as well as the REshape Center via @REshape.




The Walking Gallery Center for Arts and Healing

by Gregg A. Masters, MPH

On the day before Thanksgiving we spoke with Regina Holliday  (@ReginaHolliday) to get updated on her work and plans for the near term including a conference to be hosted in her rural Maryland location timed with ‘Health Datapalooza’ or its re-branded version in 2015 and the current crowdfund listing for The Walking Gallery Center for Arts and Healing, see Neil Versel’s (@nversel) ‘Holliday’s ‘Walking Gallery’ Seeks MedStartr Cash for Healing Center‘ in @Forbes.

On the broadcast I was joined by my co-host Dr. Phil Marshall (@PhilMarshallMD) for what was a collegial and thoughtful exchange on EHRs, Meaningful Use and the state of the U.S. connected health backbone.

For direct link to Medstartr listing for The Walking Gallery Center for Arts and Healing, click here or on the thumbnail below:

Medstartr_The Walking Gallery2

Some notable tweets included: 

Having a wonderful discussion today on #twihi with @ReginaHolliday …see #thewalkinggallery and listen in:

Cool @ReginaHolliday signed ‘giant release’ with @KPShare to ‘talk about her as their patient..’ Few know about this… #TWiHI

What’s wrong with this picture? 350+ jackets & only 37 backers. #TWiHI

Of 350+ jackets in #TheWalkingGallery @ReginaHolliday painted 310 (?)! She needs help tweepls! Support via #TWiHI

as do all of us with jackets. #thewalkinggallery Center for Arts & Healing is for all of us @ReginaHolliday

A 5% threshold a very low bar for uptake of #EHRs [paraphrased] @ReginaHolliday #TWiHI

A ‘Timely’ HiMSS Retrospective: CMIO Insights c/o @DirkStanley

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH

Following an evening twitter exchange, I had the opportunity to search for and review an interview from HiMSS 2013 in ‘the big easy’ with a community hospital physician, CMIO and early adopter of social media technologies.  A talented, articulate and forward thinking physician who’s placed himself squarely in the ‘white waters’ of e-connectivity of physicians at community hospitals. That person is Dirk Stanley, MD, MPH  (@DirkStanley) a passionate physician with a veritable heart of gold and soldier in the cause of connected health.

And there is much more to the ‘heart of gold’ story that tethers to his compelling ‘on the ground’ experience at ‘ground zero’ during 9/11. But more on point with this clip is the ‘Houston We Have A Problem‘ narrative opined in 2010 which now seems to have gained more traction as the HITECH incentives are winding down and chaos appears to be winding its way into the national EHR debate while the ‘musical chairs’ churn that began with Lygeia Ricciardi’s resignation at ONC picks up steam.

This interview was created in 2013 and previews the very widespread disaffection that was developing years ago given the known issues with lack of interoperability, workflow disruption and training/educational challenges by hospital medical staffs.

Dirk blogs at ‘DirkMD – Fre CMIO Perspective‘.

ACO Alignment Summit 2014: Meet Josh Luke PhD

by Douglas Goldstein @efuturist

The World Health Congress convened in Alexandria Virginia on Wednesday and Thursday October 28th and 29th 2014 for the ACO Alignment Summit. HealthInnovation Media was there as founder Gregg Masters moderated the panel on ACO Alignment (see: ACO Alignment: The Holy Grail) with industry thought leaders from Dignity Health (Diwen Chen), Aledade (Travis Broome), and Pendulum Health Development Corporation (William DeMarco).

Gregg and I caught up with several of the presenting faculty including the conference moderator Josh Luke, PhD, the founder of the National Readmission Prevention Collaborative for some candid interviews.

First up is Josh Luke an outspoken, direct and vocal ‘value based paradigm shift’ advocate with core DNA sourced from both the acute care hospital industry but more recently the LTAC (long term acute care) marketplace as well.

In this clip we learn about Josh, the man, the mission and what’s on his radar near and intermediate term.



Dr Danny Sands on DigitalHealth Hype at Health2con

by Gregg A. Masters, MPH

As the director, producer and editor (and occasional host) of HealthInnovation Media segments I more often than not stand behind the camera and handle most of the post production touches to the interviews produced. The latter is something I really enjoy as the ‘magic’ of the ‘messaging moment’ can often be enhanced by timely video cuts, interview content prompts, sound track bytes or images strategically placed into the timeline.

This clip is one where some genuine chemistry emerges between two colleagues and domain experts in the digital health innovation space, my co-host and partner in HealthInnovation Media Douglas Goldstein aka @efuturist, and Dr. Danny Sands (@DrDannySands) who among his long list of content and ‘street cred’ line items he recently added Chief Medical Officer of the innovative digital health checkup company Conversa Health.

This is a great chat with both insights and humor but an honest assessment of where the industry stands at the 8th Annual Health 2.0 Fall Conference.





Exponential Medicine Descends Upon San Diego Once Again

by Gregg A. Masters, MPH

From ‘the hive’ at TEDMED 2014 in the beautiful San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts, I met up with principal curator and visionary behind the Exponential Medicine series (fka ‘FutureMed) Daniel Kraft, MD.

Do yourself a favor, and be sure to follow Daniel on twitter via @daniel_kraft. For more information on Exponential Medicine checkout the program description here.

Daniel, pediatric oncologist and former fighter pilot (among only a handful of his impressive credentials) is a talented keynote speaker with a pulse on the emerging digital health economy including the all important gateway criteria of whether there’s a there, there – i.e., what kind of uptake can one expect from the explosions of innovation enabled by what some may consider an overheated digital health market.



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